As with most of the topics discussed in this blog, mobile is one that I could easily spend a great deal of time talking about. Mobile devices provide an incredible and invaluable opportunity for companies to increase points of interaction and engagement with consumers wherever they are at. It is also becoming an increasingly popular digital medium with which consumers are engaging. Mobile interaction is on the rise, still fairly new, and there remains a lot of untapped potential in this realm of digital marketing. In this post I will barely scratch the surface of this incredibly interesting and broad topic.
Before we dive in, however, I must specify that “mobile” or “mobile device” does not only refer to smartphones. Mobile also refers to other hand-held internet connected devices such as tablets or iPods. This was a point of realization for me, most likely because the only mobile device that I own is my smartphone. Granted, the term “mobile” does not exclusively refer to smartphones, but smartphones make up the heavy majority of mobile device usage at 75% of the mobile market. With that clarification in mind, let us explore why mobile is so important.
The Importance of Mobile
Since the invention of the internet, the advent and usage of mobile devices has created the most significant shift in the digital sphere. This is because mobile devices create and provide consumers with the ability to connect with the internet throughout their entire day. Internet usage is no longer confined to a desk at work or at home, but can happen virtually anywhere. Because of this shift, marketers are provided with endless opportunities for connecting with and engaging consumers through these devices. Marketers are even leveraging this mobile shift to determine consumer locations and integrate this information into their marketing strategies through geofencing technology. With that in mind, the wealth of rich data and knowledge that can be gained about consumer behavior because of this medium is immense. And that is only a taste of the possibilities that mobile provides.
Consumers are increasingly using multiple platforms, particularly mobile, to interact with digital media and are quickly becoming the majority in the market of internet users. In fact, mobile accounts for approximately 60% of all internet usage and has surpassed the amount of desktop internet usage. Of this mobile market, 88% of smartphone internet usage is accounted for by internet connected apps, with 82% of tablet internet usage being accounted for by apps, as of June 2014. This means that mobile devices, and more specifically mobile apps, are the primary medium used for accessing the internet. With this in mind, businesses should seriously consider ways to leverage this medium to accomplish their objectives.
Considerations for Leveraging Mobile
Implementing a successful mobile marketing strategy is not necessarily easy, but if done right, it can lead to amazing results. Starbucks is the perfect example of a , company that has used mobile to increase sales, promote positive relationships with customers, and cultivate customer loyalty. Starbucks has been successful, in part, because it combined its mobile app with its rewards program. This created a valuable incentive for customers to download the the company’s app. Customer interaction with the Starbucks app is also fueled by the high and constant demand for the products that Starbucks has to offer. Coffee is an “essential” and constant part of many people’s lives and because this product is perishable and continuously consumed, some customers may be driven to engage with the app as frequently as one or more times each day.
Considering all of this, in order to launch a successful mobile app campaign businesses should attempt to make it an integral and supplementary part of the buying process. There should be clear and obvious incentives for using the app. Once businesses then establish a solid foundation of app usership, they can build on their success by adding useful features that will drive more app adoption. Companies also need to evaluate their business objectives and business model so that they can implement a mobile strategy that will best fit company and customer needs. Not every corporation sells consumable goods, and for those that don’t, it may be harder to drive app or mobile engagement. Therefore, those companies may need to come up with more creative ways of making their application valuable and interesting to customers, so that the appropriate company goals can be met.
Although mobile web search accounts for much less internet usage than mobile apps, mobile SEO and website optimization is another important piece of leveraging this medium. Mobile is such a large portion of site traffic nowadays that it is important to consider ways to optimize sites for mobile interactions, making them more mobile-friendly. As with mobile apps it is important for a business to evaluate its goals in order to determine the type of content that should be placed on a mobile website. What best fits the company’s corporate business model and what would target customers best respond to and engage with?
Valuable content is important in any form of digital medium, but what makes mobile different in the realm of web and search engine optimization? First, mobile device screens are typically much smaller than desktop screens, so it is important to know how a website will look on a mobile device. A smaller screen can create potential issues relating to content navigation, viewability, and user friendliness. What might look amazing on a big screen might send users running on a smaller one. Particulary for SEO, this might mean that less results appear above the fold. Therefore, if a company wants to initially appear on the search results of a mobile device, they might have to work a little harder. Second, mobile devices are used sometimes at different times and in different places than traditional desktop devices are. This should be taken into consideration when developing content for a mobile site. Businesses should develop content that users would want to view casually when they are on their smartphone or tablet. This will help drive site traffic and hopefully more conversions on mobile devices.